Catheter-Directed Computed Tomography Hepatic Angiography for Yttrium-90 Selective Internal Radiotherapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Reduces Prophylactic Embolization of Extrahepatic Vessels

Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2020 Mar;43(3):478-487. doi: 10.1007/s00270-019-02362-y. Epub 2019 Nov 8.


Objectives: To determine the rate of prophylactic embolization of extrahepatic vessels in patients undergoing yttrium-90 selective internal radiotherapy (90Y SIRT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with the use of catheter-directed computed tomography hepatic angiography (CD-CTHA).

Materials and methods: This retrospective study included 186 HCC patients who received 90Y SIRT from May 2010 to June 2015 in a single institution. All procedures were performed in a hybrid angiography-CT suite equipped with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and CD-CTHA capabilities. CD-CTHA was performed during pre-treatment hepatic angiography. 90Y SIRT was administered approximately 2 weeks later. Selective prophylactic embolization of extrahepatic vessels was performed if extrahepatic enhancement was seen on CD-CTHA or if an extrahepatic vessel opacified on DSA/CD-CTHA despite the final microcatheter position for 90Y microsphere delivery being beyond the origin of this vessel.

Results: Thirty-five patients (18.8%) required selective embolization of extrahepatic vessels. Technical success of 90Y SIRT was 99.5%. Two patients (1.1%) developed radiation-induced gastrointestinal ulceration, and one (0.54%) developed radiation-induced pneumonitis. Extrahepatic uptake of 90Y microspheres was seen in the gallbladder of one patient without significant complications.

Conclusion: The use of CD-CTHA in 90Y SIRT of HCC was associated with a low rate of prophylactic embolization of extrahepatic vessels while maintaining a high technical success rate of treatment and low rate of complications.

Level of evidence: Level 4, case series.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Intra-arterial CT; Prophylactive embolization; Selective internal radiotherapy.